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City council asked to consider pit-bull ban
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The Hinesville City Council held its monthly meeting on Thursday, voting on or agreeing to further discussion on zoning and community development issues, surplus property and alcoholic beverage special event permits and license renewals. And, during the public commenting period, council members heard from a man who said he is fed up with a particular dog breed.

The council agreed to a request to rename Guyett Estates at Griffin Park to Griffin Park Phase IV. The council also approved the final plat for Liberty Park and the preliminary plat for Cinder Hill.

A request for a $100,000 grant from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources for a walking trail at Bryant Commons was held for further discussion, but a request by the community development department for a $10,000 grant from the Plum Creek Foundation to buy food and service supplies for Manna House’s 2012 Emergency Assistance/Food Distribution Project was approved, as was a request for $2,800 from the NRA Foundation to purchase an “Eddie Eagle” mascot costume to support gun-safety lessons taught at local schools by the Hinesville Police Department’s Crime Prevention Unit.

City Manager Billy Edwards presented a list of old construction equipment and vehicles that long had exceeded their service life, which the council approved to list as surplus property. City Attorney Linnie Darden addressed the council regarding current laws and fees for temporary alcoholic beverage permits at special events. Mayor Jim Thomas recommended further study and to re-visit the issue in January. The council approved alcoholic beverage license renewals for 11 businesses, two for consumption on premise and nine for consumption off premises.

During public comments to the council, Hinesville resident Johnny T. Howard asked the board to consider banning pit bull terriers within the city limits. He said he had been attacked by a pit bull on at least five occasions, most recently on Oct. 15. In that incident, he said, he was walking his two dogs when an unleashed pit bull owned by a neighbor attacked him and his dogs. Although the dog’s owner was cited by police, Howard said he was afraid for the day when a child might be attacked.

“I am so tired of not being able to walk my pets and not get attacked,” Howard said after relating his personal experience of being attacked and reading a website article about the temperament of pit bull terriers.

District 4 Councilman Keith Jenkins asked Howard if he had any information about the number of pit bull attacks in Hinesville and if he knew of any other municipalities that had banned the breed, but Howard admitted he didn’t have that information. Thomas said he’d ask the city attorney to look into it and the council would consider Howard’s request.

Angela Wilson, candidate for the District 5 city council seat, told the council she was concerned that some District 4 and District 5 voters had been allowed to vote for candidates in the wrong districts. She said she knew of one instance in which four members of one family were allowed to vote early and given a ballot for District 5, even though they had always voted in District 4. Days later, she said, these voters received their new voter registration cards, which said they were registered in District 4.

“We have to be absolutely sure we don’t interfere with the (Liberty County) Board of Elections,” Thomas interjected. “Our hands are tied by the Justice Department.”

Wilson said she didn’t know if anything could be done after someone already had voted, or where the “confusion” over the new redistricting plan would lead as far as Tuesday’s election goes.

The council meeting concluded with Hinesville public relations manager Krystal Britton’s summary of upcoming community events, including the Nov. 11 Veterans Day Parade and the Nov. 13 Toys for Tots Bike Ride.

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